Isaiah 22:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
All your leaders have fled together; without the bow they were captured. All of you who were found were captured, though they had fled far away.

King James Bible
All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.

American Standard Version
All thy rulers fled away together, they were bound by the archers; all that were found of thee were bound together; they fled afar off.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All the princes are fled together, and are bound hard: all that were found, are bound together, they are fled far off.

English Revised Version
All thy rulers fled away together, they were bound by the archers: all that were found of thee were bound together, they fled afar off.

Webster's Bible Translation
All thy rulers have fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, who have fled from far.

Isaiah 22:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The heading בּערב משּׂא (the ע written according to the best codd. with a simple sheva), when pointed as we have it, signifies, according to Zechariah 9:1 (cf., Isaiah 9:7), "oracle against Arabia." But why not massâ ‛Arâb, since massâ is followed by a simple genitive in the other three headings? Or again, is this the only heading in the tetralogy that is not symbolical? We must assume that the Beth by which this is distinguished is introduced for the express purpose of rendering it symbolical, and that the prophet pointed it first of all בּערב, but had at the same time בּערב in his mind. The earlier translators (lxx, Targum, Syr., Vulg., Ar.) read the second בּערב like the first, but without any reason. The oracle commences with an evening scene, even without our altering the second בּערב. And the massa has a symbolical title founded upon this evening scene. Just as 'Edom becomes Dumah, inasmuch as a night without a morning dawn falls upon the mountain land of Seir, so will בּערב soon be בּערב, inasmuch as the sun of Arabia is setting. Evening darkness is settling upon Arabia, and the morning-land is becoming an evening-land. "In the wilderness in Arabia ye must pass the night, caravans of the Dedanians. Bring water to meet thirsty ones! The inhabitants of the land of Tema are coming with its bread before the fugitive. For they are flying before swords, before drawn swords, and before a bent bow, and before oppressive war." There is all the less ground for making any alteration in בּערב בּיער, inasmuch as the second Beth (wilderness in Arabia for of Arabia) is favoured by Isaiah's common usage (Isaiah 28:21; Isaiah 9:2; compare 2 Samuel 1:21; Amos 3:9). ‛Arab, written with pathach, is Arabia (Ezekiel 27:21; ‛arâb in pause, Jeremiah 25:24); and ya‛ar here is the solitary barren desert, as distinguished from the cultivated land with its cities and villages. Wetzstein rejects the meaning nemus, sylva, with ya‛ar has been assumed to have, because it would be rather a promise than a threat to be told that they would have to flee from the steppe into the wood, since a shady tree is the most delicious dream of the Beduins, who not only find shade in the forest, but a constant supply of green pasture, and fuel for their hospitable hearths. He therefore renders it, "Ye will take refuge in the V‛ar of Arabia," i.e., the open steppe will no longer afford you any shelter, so that ye will be obliged to hide yourselves in the V‛ar. Arab. wa‛ur for example, is the name applied to the trachytic rayon of the Syro-Hauranitic volcanoes which is covered with a layer of stones. But as the V‛ar in this sense is also planted with trees, and furnishes firewood, this epithet must rest upon some peculiar distinction in the radical meaning of the word ya‛ar, which really does mean a forest in Hebrew, though not necessarily a forest of lofty trees, but also a wilderness overgrown with brushwood and thorn-bushes. The meaning of the passage before us we therefore take to be this: the trading caravans ('ârchōth, like hailı̄coth in Job 6:19) of the Dedanians, that mixed tribe of Cushites and Abrahamides dwelling in the neighbourhood of the Edomites (Genesis 10:7; Genesis 25:3), when on their way from east to west, possibly to Tyre (Ezekiel 27:20), would be obliged to encamp in the wilderness, being driven out of the caravan road in consequence of the war that was spreading from north to south. The prophet, whose sympathy mingles with the revelation in this instance also, asks for water for the panting fugitives (התיוּ, as in Jeremiah 12:9, an imperative equivalent to האתיוּ equals האתיוּ; compare 2 Kings 2:3 : there is no necessity to read קדמוּ, as the Targum, Dderlein, and Ewald do). They are driven back with fright towards the south-east as far as Tema, on the border of Negd and the Syrian desert. The Tema referred to is not the trans-Hauranian Tm, which is three-quarters of an hour from Dumah, although there is a good deal that seems to favour this,

(Note: See Wetzstein, ut supra, p. 202; compare Job, ii.425.)

but the Tema on the pilgrim road from Damascus to Mecca, between Tebuk and Wadi el-Kora, which is about the same distance (four days' journey) from both these places, and also from Chaibar (it is to be distinguished, however, from Tihama, the coast land of Yemen, the antithesis of which is ne'gd, the mountain district of Yemen).

(Note: See Sprenger, Post und Reise-routen des Orients, Heft i.((1864), pp. 118, 119.))

But even here in the land of Tema they do not feel themselves safe. The inhabitants of Tema are obliged to bring them water and bread ("its bread," lachmo, referring to nōdēd: the bread necessary in order to save them), into the hiding-places in which they have concealed themselves. "How humiliating," as Drechsler well observes, "to be obliged to practise their hospitality, the pride of Arabian customs, in so restricted a manner, and with such unbecoming secrecy!" But it could not possibly be done in any other way, since the weapons of the foe were driving them incessantly before them, and the war itself was rolling incessantly forward like an overwhelming colossus, as the repetition of the word "before" (mippenē) no less than four times clearly implies.

Isaiah 22:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thy rulers

Isaiah 3:1-8 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, does take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread...

2 Kings 25:4-7,18-21 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls...

Jeremiah 39:4-7 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled...

Jeremiah 52:24-27 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door...

by the archers. Heb. of the bow

Cross References
Isaiah 21:15
For they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the press of battle.

Jeremiah 4:9
"In that day, declares the LORD, courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded."

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